Dennis Franz

Actor


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, Dennis Franz talks about his early years breaking into the theater, including his work performing as a regular member of the Organic Theater Company in Chicago in the early 1970s. He describes acting in several Robert Altman and Brian DePalma films and details his work on Hill Street Blues - outlining his storylines and speaking of his experiences acting with the ensemble cast. Franz discusses the short-lived baseball series Bay City Blues, its subsequent cancellation and his return to Hill Street Blues as "Norman Buntz" - a character different from the one he previously played. He comments on the spin-off series Beverly Hills Buntz, and then details his time on NYPD Blue. Franz speaks in depth about his character, "Andy Sipowicz," (by Franz's count, his 28th role as a cop), his suggestions for his character (including an idea to introduce a mixed relationship for him, which was rejected,) and his reaction to the nudity and violence on the show. He shares what he believes distinguishes the show from other cop shows, talks of working with writer-producer David Milch, and recalls stories of NYPD Blue castmates. Stephen J. Abramson conducted the interview at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences headquarters in North Hollywood, CA on October 12, 2006.

"The legacy ['of NYPD Blue'] is a tribute to the men and women who do police work ... police work is something so much more difficult than just chasing bad guys and wearing a badge and carrying a gun. Life is so much more complicated and the show is a dedication to them."

Highlights
Dennis Franz on the positive traits of his NYPD Blue character, "Andy Sipowicz"
02:17
Dennis Franz on his character, "Andy Sipowicz" on NYPD Blue; on the writing on the show
01:47
Dennis Franz on the final episode of NYPD Blue
00:53
Dennis Franz on the legacy of NYPD Blue
00:46
Dennis Franz on the legacy of Hill Street Blues
00:38
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On growing up and his early childhood influences
07:23
On high school and college and when he thought acting could be a serious career; on jobs he had other than acting
03:36
On how life experiences, like being in the military, affected his acting experience
02:10
On working with The Organic Theater Company; on his discovery of his love of film acting; on working with David Mamet
04:44
On how projects that began at The Organic Theater Company became television shows
02:08
On his first appearance on television and how he first got cast in a role
01:57
On how he got to know Robert Altman and his work with him
05:12
On how he met Brian DePalma and his work on his films
01:45

Chapter 2

On Hill Street Blues, and his characters, "Sal Bennedetto" and "Norman Buntz;" on working with Steven Bochco; on the show, Bay City Blues
10:37
On the traits of his character "Norman Buntz;" on returning to a show playing a different character; on the popularity of Hill Street Blues and his favorite "Norman Buntz" storyline
03:45
On the essential differences between "Bennedetto" and "Buntz" and Franz's character preference
01:36
On researching a part and his approach to a new role
02:36
On the on-set chemistry between cast and crew of Hill Street Blues
01:16
On working with his co-stars and with Dick Wolf
05:29
On working with a series of directors on Hill Street Blues; on a discussion of three highlighted directors
03:28

Chapter 3

On working with his co-stars from Hill Street Blues
04:00
On how camera technique affects performance as an actor; on his relationship with the writers on Hill Street Blues; on his suggestion for a mixed relationship for one of his characters
02:53
On learning of Hill Street Blues ending; on his favorite and least favorite elements of Hill Street Blues; on the legacy of Hill Street Blues
04:00
On the Hill Street Blues spin-off show, Beverly Hills Buntz; on type-casting
03:54
On the beginnings of NYPD Blue and his character, "Andy Sipowicz"
04:29
On what makes NYPD Blue stand out as different from other cop shows; on how real cops respond to Franz
03:40
On the initial resistance of affiliates to air NYPD Blue; on its subsequent publicity and eventual acceptance across television markets; on what made the show provocative and different from other shows
03:46
On the positive traits of his character, "Andy Sipowicz"
02:17

Chapter 4

On the qualities of his character "Andy Sipowicz" on NYPD Blue; on the focus of the show; on the dynamic of the relationship between "John Kelly" and "Andy Sipowicz"
03:42
On "Sipowicz's" wardrobe; on his malapropisms; on inspiration for "Sipowicz;" on "Sipowicz's" love life; on signature moments of NYPD Blue
07:37
On the choreography of NYPD Blue; on becoming comfortable with the dialogue on the show; on last minute revisions to the scripts; on the collaboration between David Milch and Steven Bochco; on why David Caruso left NYPD Blue; on the chemistry on set during the first season; on working with the cast of NYPD Blue
17:44

Chapter 5

On working with the cast and crew of NYPD Blue; on the father/ son relationship between the characters of "Sipowicz" and "Danny" on NYPD Blue; on how NYPD Blue handled the 9/11 terrorist attacks; on the evolution of "Sipowicz" and "Sipowicz's" wife throughout the course of NYPD Blue
10:24
On the final episode of NYPD Blue; on where Franz thinks "Sipowicz" would be five or ten years after the final episode; on why NYPD Blue came to a close; on conversations with Steven Bochco regarding changes on the show; on working with Mark-Paul Gosselaar
04:25
On his Emmy nominations and Emmy awards; on the legacy of NYPD Blue; on Franz's proudest professional achievement; on any professional regrets; on current projects; on advice to aspiring actors, on how he would like to be remembered
06:12
Shows

Bay City Blues

View Show Page
Dennis Franz on working on the series Bay City Blues
00:16
Dennis Franz on what it was like working on Bay City Blues
02:50

Beverly Hills Buntz

View Show Page
Dennis Franz on the Hill Street Blues spin-off show, Beverly Hills Buntz; on type-casting
03:54

Hill Street Blues

View Show Page
Dennis Franz on working on Hill Street Blues as "Sal Bennedetto" and "Norman Buntz"
28:47
Dennis Franz on working on Hill Street Blues
14:47

Howdy Doody

View Show Page
Dennis Franz on Howdy Doody, the first television show he became aware of as a child
00:36

NYPD Blue

View Show Page
Dennis Franz on bringing authenticity to his role on N.Y.P.D. Blue
00:27
Dennis Franz on working on NYPD Blue
14:12
Dennis Franz on the character of "Andy Sipowicz" on NYPD Blue
15:58
Dennis Franz on the collaborations and chemistry on NYPD Blue
13:15
Dennis Franz on working on NYPD Blue
21:00
Topics

9/11

View Topic
Dennis Franz on how NYPD Blue was impacted by 9/11
01:54

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Dennis Franz on the traits of his character "Norman Buntz;" on returning to a show playing a different character; on the popularity of Hill Street Blues and his favorite "Norman Buntz" storyline
03:45
Dennis Franz on the positive traits of his NYPD Blue character, "Andy Sipowicz"
02:17
Dennis Franz on his character of "Sipowicz" on NYPD Blue
15:58

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Dennis Franz on his Emmy nominations and Emmy awards
01:47

Television Industry

View Topic
Dennis Franz on being voted "Villain of the Year" by TV Guide
00:14
Professions

Actor

View Profession
On his first appearance on television and how he first got cast in a role
01:57
Dennis Franz on researching a part and his approach to a new role
02:36
Dennis Franz on type-casting
01:03
Dennis Franz on choreography and continuity of NYPD Blue and handling challenges of complicated dialogue
06:11
Genres

Children's Programming

View Genre
Dennis Franz on Howdy Doody, the first television show he became aware of as a child
00:36

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Dennis Franz on bringing authenticity to his role on N.Y.P.D. Blue
00:27
Dennis Franz on working on Hill Street Blues
28:47
Dennis Franz on working on Hill Street Blues
14:47
Dennis Franz on working on NYPD Blue
14:12
Dennis Franz on working on NYPD Blue
29:13
Dennis Franz on working on NYPD Blue
21:00

Sports

View Genre
Dennis Franz on working on Bay City Blues
02:50
People

Robert Altman

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on meeting and working with Robert Altman
05:12

Hal Ashby

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on his involvement with Beverly Hills Buntz
00:29

Steven Bochco

View Interview Page
Dennis Franz on his response to publicity NYPD Blue received
00:15
Dennis Franz on Steven Bochco's involvement with NYPD Blue
01:35
Dennis Franz on Steven Bochco's view of the evolution of "Sipowicz" and "Sipowicz's" wife on NYPD Blue
01:33
Dennis Franz on Steven Bochco's view of the longevity and relevancy of NYPD Blue
02:38

Amy Brenneman

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Amy Brenneman on NYPD Blue
00:55

Thomas Carter

View Interview Page
Dennis Franz on his involvement with Beverly Hills Buntz
00:42

David Caruso

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with David Caruso
01:55
Dennis Franz on why David Caruso left NYPD Blue and the chemistry on set during the first season
02:18

Gordon Clapp

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Gordon Clapp on NYPD Blue
01:00

Bill Clark

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Bill Clark on NYPD Blue
03:18

Michael Conrad

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Michael Conrad
00:21

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Mark-Paul Gosselaar on NYPD Blue
00:21

Veronica Hamel

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Veronica Hamel
00:35

Peter Jurasik

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Peter Jurasik on Hill Street Blues
00:33

Sharon Lawrence

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on "Sipowicz's" love life and working with Sharon Lawrence
01:27

David Mamet

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with David Mamet at The Organic Theater Company
01:10

Joe Mantegna

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Joe Mantegna at The Organic Theater Company
01:57

Ed Marinaro

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Ed Marinaro
00:55

James McDaniel

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with James McDaniel on NYPD Blue
01:00

David Milch

View Interview Page
Dennis Franz on working with David Milch
01:42
Dennis Franz on his character suggestions to David Milch
01:08
Dennis Franz on David Milch's involvement with Beverly Hills Buntz
02:54
Dennis Franz on working with the dialogue written by David Milch
05:33

Debra Monk

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on "Sipowicz's" love life and working with Debra Monk
00:14

Gail O'Grady

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Gail O'Grady on NYPD Blue
00:55

Brian De Palma

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Brian DePalma
01:45

Charlotte Ross

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on "Sipowicz's" love life and working with Charlotte Ross
02:46

Alan Rudolph

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Alan Rudolph
00:09

Rick Schroder

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Rick Schroder on NYPD Blue
02:05

James Sikking

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with James Sikking on Hill Street Blues
02:21

Jimmy Smits

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Jimmy Smits on NYPD Blue
03:27

Sherry Stringfield

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Sherry Stringfield on NYPD Blue
00:55

Betty Thomas

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Betty Thomas on Hill Street Blues
01:04

Daniel J. Travanti

View Interview Page
Dennis Franz on working with Daniel J. Travanti
00:32

Nicholas Turturro

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Nicholas Turturro on NYPD Blue
01:11

Rick Wallace

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Rick Wallace
01:02

Michael Warren

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Michael Warren
00:55

Bruce Weitz

View Person Page
Dennis Franz on working with Bruce Weitz
00:36

Dick Wolf

View Interview Page
Dennis Franz on working with Dick Wolf
00:54

All Interviews

Q
S